Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What the HELL is wrong with American politics?

It is apparent to our readers that the subject of this article is one that is very different from our usual subject matter. Adding the word HELL, in capital letters, attempts to convey the seriousness and the utter amazement at the situation.

It's election time again, folks, and we certainly expect to see mudslinging thrown by every candidate and their respective political foes. It's the norm, something that all American voters seem to anticipate. Yet, to this humble observer, some of the recent statements out there on the campaign trail has really, as the expression goes, 'taken the cake.'

Take for example Newt Gingrich's making fun of Mitt Romney for being able to speak French. Where else but America could one politician be critical of another politician for having the ability to speak a foreign language?! Perhaps Gingrich's attack was meant to show that Romney [ a Mormon] had opportunities beyond that of average people, that his abilities to speak French are just a manifestation of that 'out of touch with the people' argument.

Even within the elite, educated and connected personalities in the nation, there exists a xenophobia of massive proportions. Whatever one thinks of Romney's politics, or any of the other candidates trying to get the Republican nomination this round, why would anyone even consider using knowledge of a language as a liability? The answer goes back to a serious issue or problem within both the elites and, to a lesser extent, in the public sphere, fear and paranoia, especially of outsiders and outside influence.

If that didn't take the cake, here's another one. Rick Perry, another illustrious choice, asserted recently that Turkey is ruled by "Islamic terrorists", that its laws oppress women [I guess the secularists having women wearing Hijab banned from Turkish colleges and government buildings was in fact liberating, right?], that it condones honor killings [which, is in fact, actually illegal in Turkey as well as against Islamic teachings]. He even says "I think Turkey has got to decide whether they want to be a country that projects those Western values that America is all about. "

As if Turkey is under some sort of moral or legal obligation to "project Western values" [whatever that means]. It reeks of arrogance and false assumptions.

I am not speaking about Muslims or Islam per se in this article, rather, my intention is to ask the question and hope to get an answer, "what is wrong with this picture?" Especially in a world of almost universal INTERNET access, how is it that our leaders and those vying for the position can not only be dishonest and rabble rousing, but actually ignorant and quite stupid? How can we even take them seriously? Why do we tolerate it?

All comments are welcome. Please note that this post is NOT an endorsement of any party or candidate, it is just a query voiced to you all, noble readers.